India is a land of huge paradoxes. To most people in the west, the country to date remains an enigma - a land of mystique, and of course, the home of Yoga. What they don’t realize, however, is that India is also home to one of the world’s most vibrant (and interesting) smartphone markets.
With its massive population of 1.4 billion people and a middle-class population that exceeds the entire population of the United States, India presents itself as a huge opportunity for smartphone brands from across the world. The massive size of the market and the peculiar demands of the customer in this country have created an eco-system of products that is unique to this market.
In this article, we look at three smartphone models that are readily available for purchase in India - but not for the European market. Also notable is the fact that most of the smartphones mentioned in this article are, in fact, ‘Chinese’ smartphones that (mostly) have been manufactured in India.
Vivo X50 Pro
Easily one of the best mid-range camera smartphones I have used in recent times, the Vivo X50 Pro is part of the Chinese smartphone brand Vivo’s camera-centric X Series smartphones. The Vivo X50 Pro’s claim to fame is its unique Gimbal camera stabilization system that lets it capture ultra-smooth videos and great long exposure shots. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G-ready chipset, the X50 Pro is more than capable of handling even the most demanding applications, including high-end games, with utmost ease. Even the usually cartoonish Funtouch UI looks (somewhat) polished and matured on the X50 Pro. In India, the Vivo X50 Pro retails for Rs 49,990 (EUR 570), which is pricey for the Indian market - but is still a much-loved handset because of the sheer number of features it has and how well it does photos.
All things said, chances are high Europe could see the Vivo X50 launch since Vivo plans to enter the European market very soon.
Virtually unknown outside of Asia, iQOO is actually a sub-brand owned by Vivo. While not known for flooding the market with new smartphones every quarter, iQOO is known for its mid-range and flagship-grade devices with a focus on gaming and performance. Take the case of its flagship-grade smartphone - the iQOO 3 - currently on sale in India.
The iQOO 3 gets the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC and ships with 8GB and 12GB RAM options with 128 or 256 GB of storage. As for the display, the iQOO 3 packs an FHD+ high-quality Super AMOLED panel with apeak brightness of 800 nits. The camera setup on the iQOO 3 is quite potent with a 48MP primary camera, a 13MP telephoto camera, and another 13MP camera for wide-angle shots. The fourth camera at the rear is a 2MP depth sensor. The phone also gets a 16MP front shooter.
Apart from featuring a fairly large 4,400maH battery that promises day-long battery life, the iQOO 3 also supports 55W fast charging - making it among the fastest charging smartphones currently available anywhere in the world.
The iQOO 3 retails for Rs 34,990 (EUR 404) for the base variant and goes up to Rs 44,990 (EUR 519)for the top end 12GB + 256GB option.
Infinix Hot 10
Infinix is not a well-known name for most people in Europe. In China, India, and particularly in Africa, however, this brand has managed to create a sizable fanbase. While products from Infinix have usually played second-fiddle to more established low-cost brands like Xiaomi and Realme, their most recent launch – the Infinix Hot 10 aims to change all that. This is a strictly budget handset that uses the relatively recent MediaTek Helio G70 SoC, which competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 6 series chipsets. With 6GB of RAM at its disposal, the Infinix Hot 9 is definitely no slouch. The phone comes with 128GB of storage and uses microSD cards for additional storage.
Other interesting specs of the phone are the large 6.78-inch HD+ display with a ‘punch-hole’ for the 8MP selfie camera, a quad rear camera array with a 16MP primary camera, and three 2MP sensors for depth, macro, and low light. The cameras also feature a dedicated night mode. The Infinix Hot 10 also promises day-long battery life thanks to a massive 5200 mAh battery that also features 18W fast charging support.
The price of the Infinix Hot 10 in India? Rs 9,999 (EUR 110)!
This is barely scratching the surface of the massive smartphone market that is India. Apart from these handsets, there are other smartphone brands like iTEL, Gionee, and TECNO – most of which are not known to most people in Europe. Perhaps in the future, we will come back with a longer list of cool gadgets that you could find a hard time buying in Europe!